We all have dreams. If yours is to be part of the construction of a really big ball, that's certainly unusual, but here's your chance. Be forewarned, it will cost you.
Gainesville, Fla., resident Marc Levitt says he intends to build the world's largest rubber band ball by next summer or fall with the help of a sponsor.
His plan is to construct a ball of at least 3,500 pounds, with a goal of 4,000 pounds, thereby breaking the current Guinness world record of 3,120 pounds.
He's auctioning off the chance to sponsor construction of the ball. The winner's name will be imprinted on the finished ball and on all future layers should it be expanded, he said.
But the benefits don't end there, he points out. The winner also gets permanent advertising spots on the rubber ball's Web site-www.LargestBall.com. The person gets to choose whatever type of banner/text advertising he or she wants, subject to Levitt's approval.
The Web site will include frequent updates and pictures of the ball throughout the project, he said, adding that all pictures will include the sponsor's name and/or Web site address. He noted that he will also include the winner's name and Web site address in all interviews he gives.
The winner will be able to put the completed ball on display ``at their expense for a length of time to be determined by me; however, I will retain ownership and complete rights to the ball so that if the record is challenged I will be able to once again retain the title,'' Levitt said.
Why's he auctioning off a sponsorship? Because he says it costs an estimated $20,000 to build the rubber band ball. Levitt notes he set the auction price at the minimum cost of the project, and he'll only accept a check or money order.
He didn't say why he wants to build the ball or what he'll do if he doesn't set a new mark. That's something a potential sponsor might want to check out.
British mammal medics can rescue a stranded whale any time they want thanks to a two-ton rubber pilot whale used for training exercises.
The rubber whale and inflatable dolphin and seal are part of a training class for volunteers. The class includes lectures on how to approach a stranded animal, awareness of what to do and how to refloat them, a participant told the BBC.
The real question is, how many people does it take to refloat a two-ton whale?
Don't look for the answer on these pages.
Gaining an edge
A company in the United Kingdom is getting a leg up on its competition in dealing with scrap tires, since shredded tire rubber will be banned from landfills in the country beginning in January.
Bollards International Ltd. has developed a method to make bollards-short posts set at intervals to delimit an area or to exclude vehicles-and ``rubber street furniture'' from shredded tires.
Bollards, with the help of its sister company, IFS Chemicals, has formulated a process that yields a bollard that's ``non-corrosive and virtually maintenance-free while having the reassuring appearance of cast iron.''
Bollards' primary business is producing Tru-Cast cast polyurethane bollards.
How big exactly is the rubber furniture business?
The alligators are fake, but ducks and geese visiting ponds at the University of Alabama at Huntsville don't know it. And, apparently, that's the point.
Urethane foam Gator Guards from Bird-X Inc. float in the ponds, moving with the wind and water, and have mirror-back eyes that flash in the sun, making them look realistic. The Chicago-based company said the $69 heads are perfect for any water area infested by birds, such as fish farms, golf courses and ornamental ponds.
The school said it is using the gator heads to prevent its growing bird population from becoming a health hazard.
A town in Alberta apparently is pleased with the new roof it put on its local recreation center.
Made from recycled tires, the roof has a 50-year warranty, prompting a local official to quip Drayton Valley will need a new building before it needs a new roof, the ``Western Review'' reported.
Most of the roof's cost was paid through a grant from the Tire Recycling Board of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.
The Tire Recycling Board offers grants, funded by a $4 recycling fee charged on all new tires, to nonprofit groups and municipalities across Alberta that are interested in projects using recycled tire products such as rubber crumb for playgrounds, rubber flooring and roofing tires.
When the roof does finally wear out in say 60 or 70 years, maybe Alberta by then will have started a recycled, recycled tire roof program.
Compiled and edited by Mike McNulty. Send items to [email protected]